Thank You, New York

In tribute and remembrance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, former mayor Rudy Giuliani gave a speech at Manhattan College last Friday. I had the privilege of covering the event for Catholic New York newspaper, and the overwhelming feeling that I left with was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the bravery of the first responders.

As Giuliani reflected on 9/11, there was one moving story in particular that touched my soul and made me so proud to be an American. Giuliani spoke of his administrative assistant’s husband, a firefighter who served on Rescue One—one of the firefighters who rescue other firefighters. He told those at the service that when he asked his assistant if her husband was there at Ground Zero, she replied, “There’d be no way that he isn’t there,” even though his shift was over.  Her husband died on Sept. 11.  What struck me so deeply about this story was when Giuliani said it was the only decision that the firefighter was able to make because “That’s who he was.”

Those words made chills go down my spine. The story, for me, highlighted how the first responders were willing to give up their lives not because it was their job, or their duty, but because deep down to their very core, it was part of who they were.  They were heroes who were willing to give up their lives for the sake of others.

Thank you, to all the first responders.

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